I painted The Sound of Mull a few years ago and sold it to a collector from Singapore. However, they have ordered to deliver the acrylic painting to their offspring, living in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The dramatic road to California began.
Actually, The painting arrived pretty fast there, but nobody wanted it...
As a painter and seller, you feel directly involved in the delivery of your artworks. You have the feeling of being personally touched by it. It also involves money. You have spent around £80 for the delivery and you really, really don't want to lose it; besides for not getting paid for the painting either because not delivered or lost artwork means trouble: most of all, there is an unhappy customer, then you have to pay the money back to them, you are probably not paid for the lost or damaged artwork (see insurance below), and you are out of pocket for transportation.
Yes, there is an insurance to some extent, but this means trouble too because the insurance is somewhat limited and many couriers do not insure for damaged artworks anyway.
So, it was a somewhat horrible time for me.
The USPS informed me that they have tried to deliver but did not find the recipient under the given address. I contacted the buyer in Singapore via emails. They told me that the address was correct; they also notified me that the artwork should surprise the recipient. Now, it looked like we could not keep the surprise and deliver the painting at the same time.
Something had to give way.
A few days later, after many phone calls and emails between Singapore, UK and Los Angeles, USPS informed me that they tried again to deliver without positive result and that they would return the parcel to me in the following days.
On the other hand, the collector told me that, to their knowledge, USPS hasn't even tried to make a delivery. It was absolutely confusing.
Finally, there was a possibility of collecting the packet. However, they did not know where to collect - I helped with the address; they did not have a car to do so - no way I could help with this, so I worried a little bit more.
Anyway, somehow, the painting was finally collected in the next few days, and the recipient was apparently delighted with it. Lucky me :-)